Thursday 28 and Friday 29 May


Looking Ahead in Hope?

The general election is over but the issue of climate change remains. As we head for the vital COP 21 conference in Paris in December, how do we engage diverse groups in a meaningful discussion about the significant issues that global warming and a low carbon future raise?

On 28 and 29 May, Core is hosting two unique events to address this challenge with special guest John Ashton CBE. John was a senior diplomat and former Special Representative for Climate Change at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He is now a freelance and (very) inspiring writer and speaker on climate change and other social and economic issues.
These events promise to be something really different as we continue to explore new ways of discussing important issues.  And John Ashton is a very special guest to have. We are very fortunate that he has agreed to join us. You can read some of his recent articles here

Briefing for the day here; draft programme here.

Details follow


Thursday, 28 May | 7.00 – 10.00 pm


Dinner and Conversation

Hosted by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
Venue: Mansion House, Edinburgh Zoo

John Sturrock in conversation with John Ashton

Is pursuing our present economic system fundamentally in contradiction with addressing the man-made causes of climate change?

The question of the age? How do we talk about it?

60 places available at special price of £39.50 plus VAT. 

RSVP here

Friday, 29 May | 8.30 am – 4.00 pm


Multi-Party Dialogue

Sponsored by ClimateXChange, 2020 Climate Group and the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

Venue: Dovecot Studios, 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh

Join us for a fast-flowing, interactive day of expert input, group discussion and provocative insights on the topics of climate change, carbon reduction and the relationship with political, economic and social policies. 

Featuring special guest John Ashton and hosted by John Sturrock

In the morning, we’ll feature several key contributors on several key topics, setting the scene for discussions among all those attending with opportunities to gather views and offer new visions.
In the afternoon, we’ll simulate climate change negotiations, with all participants taking part as representatives of a variety of interested parties, experiencing different perspectives and viewpoints, assisted by our independent facilitators, as we seek to find common interests and ways to overcome significant impediments… and develop a model for the future?

Register here


Provisional Contributors

John Ashton on politics, society and the human spirit
Eolene Boyd Macmillan (University of Cambridge, conflict management specialist)  on neuro-psychological aspects
James Curran (former chief executive of SEPA) on Messaging: We need to scare the hell out of ourselves
Graeme Dickson (Director-General Enterprise Environment & Innovation, Scottish Government) on the response of government
Dr Andy Kerr (Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation) on carbon reduction
Ragne Low (ClimateXChange) on how research informs domestic policy action
Alastair McIntosh (human ecologist and author) on spiritual aspects
Adrian Shaw (Eco-Congregations) on the role of faith communities
Mark Wagner (energy conservation specialist and chairman of Isentropic) on energy conservation and climate modelling
Chris West (Chief Executive of Royal Zoological Society) on species loss


For those attending who can afford to make a contribution, we would kindly ask for a donation of £25. 

If interested in attending either the dinner or dialogue, please register here or contact Miriam Haboubi.

"Our ability to come together to stop or limit damage to the world’s environment will be perhaps the greatest test of how far we can act as a world community. No one should under-estimate the imagination that will be required, nor the scientific effort, nor the unprecedented co-operation we shall have to show. We shall need statesmanship of a rare order." 

Then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher at the 2nd World Climate Conference 1990


Recent Articles by John Ashton


Health and Fracking: The Impacts and Opportunity Costs
30 March 2015

Launch of a Report by Medact


4th European Energy Forum, Paris
13 March 2015

On the Way to COP21: Acting Efficiently against
Climate Change


Institute of International and European Affairs, Dublin
14 January 2015

Lunchtime Talk 


 Statkraft Conference, Lysaker, Oslo 
21 August 2014

Little Norway, Big Norway: Electricity Today and Tomorrow: Reflections on Europe, Energy and Climate Change


Briefing for Lancashire County Council, Preston
26 March 2014

Opening Statement



Other Resources


Reflections on the Current Climate

by John Sturrock


The World is Our Host

A Call to Urgent  Action on Climate Justice


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